Archive for June, 2016

Yarrows Come In Many Size And Colors

              Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a rhizomatous spreading perennial (USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9). The species originates from Europe and Asia and was introduced to America in colonial times. Today, yarrow is frequently seen naturalized along roadsides, fields, and gardens throughout the U. S. Yarrow has fern-like, aromatic, foliage. […]

Nandinas Are Never Old-fashioned

                Aka “heavenly bamboo”, nandinas (Nandina domestica) are broadleaf evergreen shrubs with several landscape attributes that include white spring flowers, color changing leathery foliage, and enormous clusters of colorful berry fruits in fall and winter (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). This member of the Barberry family (Berberidaceae) is native to Japan, China […]

Seasonal Mowing Height Of Home Lawns

      The arrival of summer’s heat and dry weather is a clear sign to raise the cutting (mowing) height of your lawn grass.  Every grass species have a recommended height at which it should be mowed for best health. The cutting height will change with the season. Location in the yard is also […]

Butterfly Weed – Long-lived Flowering Perennial That Nourish Monarchs

Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), aka butterfly weed, is a tuberous rooted perennial native in the Eastern and southern U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9). It grows in dry/rocky open woodlands, prairies, farm fields, and along roadsides. Individual plants typically grow as a clump to 1- 3 feet high and 1 ½ feet wide. Unlike many of […]

Celebrate National Pollinator Week

            June 20 – 26 is National Pollinator Week. National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. Nine years ago the U.S. Senate unanimous approved and designated a week in June as “National Pollinator Week”. National Pollinator Week is […]

Medical Benefits Derived From Gardening

For hundreds of years, home gardeners have realized that growing plants is good for you both physically and mentally. A story recently published in British tabloid The Guardian reports that many patients suffering with cancer, dementia and mental health problems can benefit from gardening. Doctors are more and more prescribing gardening for patients with cancer, […]

Buttonbush Offers Year-round Interest

              Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), aka Button-willow or Honey Bells, is a medium to large native shrub with many fine landscape attributes. This unique flowering shrub is a favorite in attracting beneficial wildlife. It populates bogs, swamps and pond areas, as well as dry limestone bluffs in the eastern U.S. […]

Japanese Snowbells Worth A Try

  Japanese snowbells (Styrax japonicus) is a graceful, slow growing, low branched spring flowering tree. At present snowbells are not popular with U.S. gardeners , mostly because of unavailabliity (USDA hardiness zones 5-8). Snowbells  are lovely understory trees, similar to our native dogwoods (Cornus florida). Small, pendulous, slightly fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers appear in May. Small white […]

Three Native Landscape Grasses To Try

These three native grasses are easy to establish in average, dry to medium moist, well-drained soils and in full sun. They tolerate a wide range of soils including dry rocky sites, and are exceptionally drought tolerant. Figure on 1 to 2 years for each to become fully established. Blue Lyme Grass (Leymus arenarus ‘Blue Dune’) is a vigorous spreading cool […]

Recommendations On Hardy Crape Myrtles

Crape myrtles are dependable trees and shrubs in zones 7 – 10). In northern areas of USDA zone 6, a number of crape myrtle varieties (cultivars) have rated as winter hardy perennials and are not dependable woody trees or shrubs. In northeastern U.S. cities such as Philadelphia, Wilmington or Baltimore, crape myrtles are rated as hardy perennials. In […]